No. 583
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 30, 2022

She Had a High Old Time.

August 13, 2013
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Fifteen-year-old Jody Randall of Long Beach, California, was in most ways a typical suburban teenager.  The one thing that set her apart was a passion for antiques which was unusual for someone of her youth.  As a result of spending all her available free time (and her parents’ money) on her hobby, she eventually amassed some impressive pieces, including a doll collection noteworthy enough to
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Strange Company - 11/28/2022
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Shell and Pea Game on the Trail"Sketched from life by M. W. Newberry"San Francisco ChronicleApril 10, 1898(Click image to enlarge)    UNKO MEN AND THEIR TRICKS      A wonderfully detailed description of the modus operandi of Soapy Smith's three shell and pea manipulators along the Chilkoot and White Pass trails. Witnessed and reported by Joseph D. Barry, and published in the San Francisco
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 11/21/2022
Working as a domestic servant in 19th century New York City had plenty of challenges. Sure, servants received room and board in addition to their wages, and they usually had at least Sunday afternoon off. But living in another family’s home was isolating and lonely—particularly if you didn’t speak English or weren’t accustomed to urban […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/28/2022
On this date in 2002, Pakistani Mir Aimal Kansi, Kasi, or Qazi was executed by lethal injection in Virginia, U.S.A. “Real angry with the policy of the U.S. government in the Middle East, particularly toward the Palestinian people,”* Qazi on January 25, 1993 revenged himself on Central Intelligence Agency commuters queued for a left turn […]
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Executed Today - 11/14/2022
Museum of the City of New YorkWilliam Howe and Abraham Hummel were the most successful criminal lawyers in Gilded Age New York. With a combination of skill, showmanship, and unethical practices, they defended most of the city’s significant criminals and many of its murderers. Whether they won or lost, Howe and Hummel made every trial sensational. Here are a few of the many accused murderers
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Murder By Gaslight - 11/26/2022
Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving Day! Lizzie is thankful for turkey and all the trimmings – and no mutton broth in sight!
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 11/22/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
A Bride’s Toggery. | First Automobile in Manhattan.

She Had a High Old Time.

She had a high old time.

Josephine Miller, a well-known actress, enjoys the saintly quarters of the Rev. Julian Smyth, Boston Highlands. [more]

An Actress Accused of Stealing.

Josephine Miller, an amateur actress and public reader of high reputation, was arrested the afternoon of Oct. 4 on the charge of stealing property from the residence of the Rev. Julian Smyth, pastor of the Church of the New Jerusalem, at Boston Highlands. When Mr. Smyth made preparations to start on his summer vacation in June, he let his residence, at 26 Montrose street, to Miss Miller. On Sept. 1 Mr. Smyth and his family returned home and found their house vacated and over $200 worth of bric-a-brac, house furnishings, etc., missing. There were dozens of empty wine bottles left behind, and soon bills came in for several cases of champagne, which had been charged to the clergyman. He made inquiries of his neighbors and the police and learned that the house had been every night the scene of the wildest revelry, which lasted usually until sunrise.

The police hadn’t interfered because the place had been the resort of the best known bloods about town. Mr. Smyth was scandalized and caused the arrest of his former tenant.

Inspectors Burke and Robbinson tried every means to ascertain where Miss Miller was stopping, but not until this morning did they learn that she was living in the Hotel Albemarle, on Columbus avenue. They went to her apartments, and there found a considerable part of the stolen property. More of the property was found stored away in the cellar of the hotel and at the Boston Storage company’s building on the Back Bay. When questioned at police headquarters, Miss Miller said that she did not intend to steal the property, but that it was packed up by mistake.

Miss Miller is a strikingly handsome young woman of about twenty-five years with dark hair and eyes. When taken to police headquarters she was attired in an elegant costume. She has appeared in many of the entertainments given throughout New England as a reader, and in “Pygmalion and Galatea” and “Love a Rainstorm.”


Reprinted from: The National Police Gazette, Oct. 22, 1887.